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Nubian Wild Ass

Nubian Wild Ass
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Equidae
Genus: Equus
Species: E. africanus
Subspecies: E. a. africanus
Trinomial name
Equus africanus africanus
(von Heuglin & Fitzinger, 1866)[2]

The Nubian Wild Ass (Equus africanus africanus) is a subspecies of the African Wild Ass and probably the ancestor of domestic donkeys, since both have a stripe across the shoulder. The ass was domesticated about 6,000 years ago, probably in Egypt or Mesopotamia.

The Nubian Wild Ass is most likely extinct in the wild since the 1950's. However, the IUCN Red List [1] still mentions it as critically endangered. The Nubian Wild Ass is closely related to the Somali Wild Ass, which is also on the brink of extinction in the wild.



The Nubian Wild Ass is known for its stamina, it has a slender body and a stripe across the shoulder. Its head is rather large, with two long slender ears. The shoulder height of the Nubian Wild Ass is about 120 centimeters. Skin color varies from light brown to gray.


Nubian Wild Asses used to live in the northeast of Africa, ranging from mountains, rocky areas, semi-deserts and grasslands. Feeding occurs during the night and early morning. The diet includes grasses and types of herbs. During the heat of day the Nubian Wild Ass takes refuge in the shade.


Males tend to live alone or in small groups. Females and young animals live in herds. There is no strict hierarchy in the herd, and when fights erupt, the animals kick and bite each other.


After almost a year of gestation the female typically gives birth to one foal. The mother and foal separate themselves from the herd until the foal is able to recognize its mother.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Equid Specialist Group (1996). Equus africanus ssp. africanus. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 18 May 2008.
  2. (German) Heuglin Th. v & Fitzinger L. J. (1866). "Systematische Übersicht der Säugethiere Nordost-Afrika’s mit Einschluß der arabischen Küste, des rothen Meeres, der Somáli- und der Nilquellen-Länder, südwärts bis zum vierten Grade nördlicher Breite. Von Dr Theodor v. Heuglin. Nach brieflichen Mittheilungen und den Original-Exemplaren des Herrn Verfassers ergänzt und mit Zusätzen versehen von dem w. M. Dr Leopold Joseph Fitzinger". Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Abt. 1. Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Klasse 54: 537-611.

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